With Thanksgiving, it’s time for you as a family caregiver, to think about meaningful and engaging activities for your loved ones. Fun-filled activities not only help you keep engaged but also support strengthening your bonds. Spending quality time with your loved ones and engaging in “magical moments” together can be a great way to demonstrate gratitude for the Holiday and beyond. Here are some special Thanksgiving activities you can try this year.
This year, don’t decorate alone. Get your candles, holders, lights, wreaths, garlands, pumpkins and other Holiday decorations out, and decorate your home together. Decorating for the Holidays can not only help with cognitive skills, but also enhance overall mental health.
Having a playful cooking session with the family
If your loved ones like cooking, they will enjoy actively participating in Thanksgiving meal prep. Have them pull out their favorite holiday recipes and join you in the kitchen to create a wonderful meal for your family and/or friends. Activities like cooking, help activate their senses, boost memory, and encourage social bonding.
Playing a Thanksgiving-themed dinner game
A Thanksgiving-themed dinner game can improve your loved ones’ memory skills. Try sitting in a circle and have everyone name their favorite dish for the Holidays one by one, and others have to remember and repeat the names of each dish. Players who forget an item on the list step out of the game and those remaining start again by naming two dishes. This process repeats with another dish added by each person to each round. The person who names all the dishes correctly in the final round wins the game. Try this game with your loved ones this Thanksgiving!
Creating a gratitude tree
Sharing gratitude with others shouldn’t be just a once-a-year event. A nice way to express your gratitude to your loved ones is to spend time with them creating a gratitude tree together. Write down on cards and/or pieces of paper 1) what/who you are grateful for, 2) why you are grateful for it/them and 3) how it/they make you feel and place/hang the papers on the tree. Seniors love indulging in such activities with their family and friends.
Decorating pumpkins with friends & family members
Decorating mini pumpkins is another wonderful way of enjoying the Holiday. This can also be a great way for them to bond while you complete other Thanksgiving preparations, all the time staying assured that they are having fun.
Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude to your family and friends! Whether near or from afar, consider ways you can enable magic and memorable moments of gratitude this Holiday season as a way to better support healthy aging in place.